Newborns to Tots / Photography & Session Tips


What to Expect During a Newborn Photo Shoot with Kristen Herber Photography

Hello, and thanks so much for coming to my blog! This post will hopefully erase some of the mystery surrounding newborn sessions, and help you to understand what you can expect. I love getting to snuggle each and every baby that comes to me, and I know your baby will be no exception!

Before the shoot:

I usually like to book newborn sessions after the 20-week mark in pregnancy. If you’re reading this and your baby is due next week, don’t worry! Contact me anyway. I’m sometimes able to make room in my schedule for another snuggly baby. Once you decide to book your session with me, I require a nonrefundable deposit of $50 that goes toward the cost of your session and secure your date. I book based on your due date, and then once the baby is here we schedule the date/time. I only book a select number of newborns per-month to ensure ample availability and room for unexpected changes in the delivery date. At this time, I photograph newborns on Monday – Fridays starting between 7:30 and 9:30 AM in my in-home studio located in Oakdale, Minnesota (if I have a weekend date open, you can special request a Saturday or Sunday for an additional fee). I prefer to work with babies when they are 5-14 days old, however, I can accommodate older ages – just note that not all poses and props are possible after 2 weeks of age. Once your beautiful baby is here and we have your session scheduled, I will send you my Newborn Prep Guide. It goes over the steps you will need to take to make sure that baby is super sleepy for our session. It does take extra effort on your part, however, it can allow us as much as 4x more photos than parents who do not follow the guide!

During the shoot:

To ensure that your baby is super comfortable, I keep my space set to around 78/80 degrees. I also have a space heater and a sound machine for extra comfort. When you arrive at my studio, I will ask that you allow me to handle your little bundle – after all, you also do deserve a little break! As long as baby is nice and sleepy, the session will begin. Once I have baby snuggled up in my arms, parents are free to sit by and watch and may even be asked to be a spotter once or twice throughout the session. Sometimes babies take a little while to get to sleep, but most of the time (if you follow the prep packet) they fall asleep pretty quickly. Depending on how sleepy baby seems, I may start the session with baby wrapped on the beanbag, or aim for something more difficult, such as the froggy pose.

Most newborn parents aren’t aware that much of their session time is taken up by settling baby, feeding, and waiting for them to go to sleep. As much as 75% of your session time – and this is normal. It is critical for most of our super cute poses that baby is sound asleep for safety reasons. Therefore, if you want a large variety of poses and props, be sure to choose our heirloom package.

I do several poses on the bean bag with baby. This takes up the first 1/2 or more of the session usually. Once we get through all these poses, baby is usually ready to eat again. After baby is asleep again, I use this next time to do more elaborate prop poses, siblings, and family poses – depending on the package you have chosen and if you want them. If you are incorporating siblings in your family photos, we ask that you try to have another family member wait to bring the sibling(s) until it is time for their photos. Please discuss with us if this is not an option. Due to safety reasons, we can not allow children to walk around the studio during session time.

beautiful newborn baby girl in pink wearing mia joy

Another favorite I like to incorporate into many sessions is posing the baby nestled in fur. Most of the time I do a simple wrap. I try to coordinate complementary colors from the beanbag and fur so that I can easily transition baby from one to the other.

St paul Newborn photographer
Newborn boy posed in the potato sack pose.

And that’s a wrap for what takes place during the shoot. After I take my last photo, we get baby dressed and you get to go home. Most of my newborn sessions work this way. I make variations to this flow based on baby and what else is happening at the shoot. I try to stick to this flow the best I can because it works really well for getting the most out of the time baby is soundly sleeping. Most of my heirloom sessions will last around 3 hours, but they range between 2-4 depending on baby. Whereas a keepsake session lasts only 30 minutes, making is critical that you follow our prep guide for the best results.

Behind the scenes at Kristen Herber Photography

After the shoot:

My turn around times vary, but usually, it ranges between 3-4 weeks. I take the utmost care with your baby’s photos. I back them up immediately after our session. After I finish your gallery, I will send you a link to an online viewing gallery. If we got a lot of extra photos, you will have the ability to select your favorites or purchase additional images. From there the digital images are yours to do what you like. I would love it if you printed them straight from your gallery. The prints are high quality, and my screens are calibrated to the lab to make sure the color matches. However, you aren’t required to purchase prints through me. I highly recommend or National Camera Exchange if you choose to print your images elsewhere. I also offer canvas options, announcements, and albums. I love seeing pictures of your baby hanging on your wall!

Thanks so much for considering me for your baby’s photos. I hope this has helped to answer any questions you might have regarding a newborn session with Kristen Herber Photography. If you have any more questions or would like to talk to me about scheduling a session, send me an email to

Thanks so much for considering me for your baby’s photos. I hope this has helped to answer any questions you might have regarding how to choose a newborn photographer. If you would like pricing for newborn sessions, please click here. You should also check out our post on choosing organic colors for your newborn session. We also have a great post on what parents should wear during their photos. If you have any more questions or would like to talk to me about scheduling a session, send me an email to

Looking forward to hearing from you!

XOXO, Kristen

Kristen Herber Photography is located in Oakdale, Minnesota on the Eastside of Saint Paul and serves new families in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding areas.


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